You are one and a half times more
likely to die from legal execution than
from being bitten or struck by a dog,
and you are two hundred times more
likely to die by falling than by coming
into contact with a sharp object—
though if that sharp object will aid in
your suicide, then the chances of
death from that are far greater than
those of execution or the dog or a fall.
The odds of hurting yourself shaving
are three times better than being hurt
by fireworks, and you are thirty times
more likely to win an Olympic medal
than you are to be canonized. You’re
as likely to date a millionaire as to have
your identity stolen. You have a one
in eighteen thousand chance of being
murdered, but a fifty-fifty chance of
being the killer who gets away with it.
The odds of death by lightning are
four times greater than the odds of
only being struck by it. The chances
of being struck twice are far slimmer
than either. To calculate the probability
of two or more independent events
occurring together, you must multiply
the outcomes of the individual events.
I’ve done the math over and over—
the number gets smaller every time.
The odds of dating a supermodel are
eighty-eight thousand to one, while
the odds of being considered possessed
by Satan are seven thousand to one.
I have been blessed with more soul
mates than most people have legs.
Though they’re all gone now, it seems
greedy to ask for one more. The odds
of being born with more than four
limbs have not been documented.
And the lightning—you’re a hundred
times more likely to be hit during a
lifetime than you are in a year. When
you hear the thunder, you’re safer
inside than out, safer in a pose of
prostration than you are lying flat.
They say lightning doesn’t know how
many times you’ve been hit, but I
think it does. I think it knows which
field holds the man with open arms.